Reviving 2015 Iran nuclear deal: the parties seem to be tantalisingly close to a deal


Iran 2015 nuclear deal breakthrough

As the signatories to the JCPOA, 2015 Iran nuclear deal, meet in the 5th round of talks in Vienna in order to resolve the lingering thorny issues, the head of the Iranian delegation sounded optimism on Wednesday.

It is a sentiment shared by Iran’s government-controlled media too; Russia, an ally of Iran, is hopeful that a deal could be struck in the next few days.

The fact that the parties involved agreed in principle to sit down, itself, is a major achievement; who would have thought a dialogue between the US and Iran, even if the involvement of intermediaries was a key factor in breaking the ice, last year?

Since both sides of the deep chasm insist on this being the last round of talks, they cannot afford to let it be a monumental failure; that’s why both sides are determined as never before to iron out the significant differences.

If the talks fail, the stakes are high for both sides: as far as the US is concerned, it cannot let Iran keep enriching uranium unhindered for its own security and regional interests; Israel, meanwhile, made it clear it will never allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons at the expense of its own existence; as far as Iran is concerned, its desperation for a success in the discussions goes beyond seeing the end of sanctions.

Of course, Iran wants to sell its oil and bolster the coffers in order to deal with serious economic issues, which could only get worse in light of new Coronavirus infections.

In addition, Iran has a serious issue with its population growth, which stands at almost 0% at present – a frightening statistic on a par with those of most developed nations; in Pakistan, an Islamic nation and Iran’s immediate neighbour, by stark contrast, the same was 2% in 2020.

On climate front, another disaster is looming in many regions: people are struggling to cope with growing water crisis as the rainfall in the arid region is on decline – year-on-year.

The cumulative impact of these factors on the society can be catastrophic and may lead to social unrest unless remedial measures are taken in time.

In this context, Iran wants to enter the international markets, get its banking and insurance sector back on track as soon as practicable in order to avert a major challenge that borders on crisis; the US, meanwhile, wants to perform a balancing act while keeping its ally, Israel, happy and secure.

All in all, the 5th round of talks in Vienna may lead to a happy ending. Since Iran, a key member of the OPEC+, it will not let crude oil markets be flooded with excess oil as some fear, which is potentially a bit of a self-harming move.

That’s why crude oil markets have not overreacted to the news of Iran’s possible re-entry to the sector.

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